Visit to a Small Planet Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. For whom does Kreton note the fighting is for, at the end of his attempt to rouse Conrad?

2. Why is Powers angry at the Pentagon?

3. What does Kreton believe Conrad and Ellen were planning to do the night before?

4. Who is on Roger's evening broadcast?

5. What will the military not do in response to information that Kreton is a mammal?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Kreton notes in the play that humans have an odd view of sex, in that they treat it as a taboo subject, while openly admitting their love for violence and death. Choose one of the following to write about.

1. Sex and violence are linked throughout the novel in several areas. Describe one of these situations. What was happening in the book? How are sex and violence linked? Why? What was the author trying to say?

2. Kreton notes that sex is a taboo subject. Is this true? Why? What makes human beings treat the topic of sex as they do? Is this logical? Why or why not?

3. Ellen notes that human beings think of sex often. Is this true? If so, why? If not, why would Ellen say this? Why is it okay to think about sex, but not to discuss it? What was the author trying to say about the attitudes of society toward sex?

Essay Topic 2

There is a scene in the play in which Kreton is served breakfast by Ellen, which consists, in part, of bacon. Answer the following in relation to that scene.

1. What is Kreton's reaction to the bacon? Why? What is Ellen's response? What does this say about Ellen's opinions of eating meat? What does this say about Kreton's opinions of eating meat? What was Vidal trying to say by having the "superior" creature refuse to eat meat? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Kreton argues that human beings are particularly adept at war, and that they specialize in it.

Part 1. Do you agree with Kreton? Why or why not? What makes us, as humans, good at war?

Part 2. Kreton also notes major scientific discoveries are found during war. Why is this true? What causes discoveries to be found during war? Does this argue for the use of war as a method of technological advancement? Why or why not? Would these discoveries have been made outside of war? Why?

Part 3. History is full of records of war. Why do humans engage in wars? What are some of the causes? Does this support or refute Kreton's position that humans specialize in war? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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